United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
OPINION AND ORDER
S. VAN BOKKELEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Cynthia Payne has appealed the Acting Commissioner's
denial of supplemental security income. For the reasons
stated below, the Court affirms the decision of the Acting
Overview of the Case
filed an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
This was denied, both initially and upon reconsideration.
Thereafter, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Henry Kramzyk
conducted a hearing at which both a vocational expert and
Plaintiff testified. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at
ultimately denied Plaintiff's claim and issued a written
opinion to that effect. The Appeals Council subsequently
declined to review the ALJ's decision, rendering it final
agency action. See 5 U.S.C. § 704; 20 C.F.R.
§ 416.1481. Plaintiff seeks judicial review of this
Standard of Review
Court has authority to review the Commissioner's decision
under 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3). The Court
must ensure that the ALJ has built an “accurate and
logical bridge” from evidence to conclusion. Thomas
v. Colvin, 745 F.3d 802, 806 (7th Cir. 2014). The Court
will uphold decisions that apply the correct legal standard
and are supported by substantial evidence. Briscoe ex
rel. Taylor v. Barnhart, 425 F.3d 345, 351 (7th Cir.
2005). Substantial evidence is “such relevant evidence
as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Craft v. Astrue, 539 F.3d 668,
673 (7th Cir. 2008).
Commissioner follows a five-step inquiry in evaluating claims
for disability benefits under the Social Security Act:
(1) whether the claimant is currently employed; (2) whether
the claimant has a severe impairment; (3) whether the
claimant's impairment is one that the Commissioner
considers conclusively disabling; (4) if the claimant does
not have a conclusively disabling impairment, whether he can
perform his past relevant work; and (5) whether the claimant
is capable of performing any work in the national economy.
Kastner v. Astrue, 697 F.3d 642, 646 (7th Cir.
2012). The claimant bears the burden of proof at every step
except step five. Clifford v. Apfel, 227 F.3d 863,
868 (7th Cir. 2000).
alleges a solitary error in the ALJ's decision: he failed
to give proper weight to the opinion of Dr. Luella Bangura.
(Pl.'s Br. at 17-24.) In his decision, the ALJ gave Dr.
Bangura's opinion “no weight” because it was
inconsistent with the findings of record as well as Dr.
Bangura's own findings regarding Plaintiff's
capabilities. (R. at 26.) Plaintiff asserts Dr.
opinion, as the only opinion from an examining source, should
have been given the most weight of all medical opinions in
the record. (Pl.'s Br. at 19.) Alternatively, and on the
basis of the same reasoning, Plaintiff contends Dr.